Schizophrenia as a disorder of embodied self
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Consciousness Lab, Uniwersytet Jagielloński
Joanna Szczotka   

Consciousness Lab, Instytut Psychologii, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Komorowicka 348a, 43-300 Bielsko-Biała, Polska
Submission date: 2016-08-20
Final revision date: 2016-11-14
Acceptance date: 2016-11-21
Online publication date: 2018-04-30
Publication date: 2018-04-30
Psychiatr Pol 2018;52(2):199–215
Theories of schizophrenia propose numerous mechanisms underlying development of this disorder, yet the account including satisfactory etiological explanation is still lacking. Current trend is to indicate core, basic factors which may further give rise to whole diversity of symptoms. Experimental data and patients’ reports show that such key factor may be selfexperience disturbed on a basic, pre-reflective level, which can then lead to many higher-order symptoms. In this article we review and analyze these data, as well as the most influential cognitive theories focusing on mechanisms influencing the clinical picture of schizophrenia and giving rise to the anomalous experience of embodied self. These approaches pay attention to different, but complementary aspects of experience, such as body schema and body image, sense of ownership and sense of agency, or hyperreflexivity and diminished self-affection. Predictive coding approach is also introduced – the theory which, by appealing to the disturbance in a process of neural prediction, complements previous accounts and links various cognitive functions by means of single common predictive mechanism. Although very broad in its possible meanings, the self appears to be a concept of high explanatory value, grasping in the single framework many schizophrenic symptoms – these observable on neural, low-level of information processing, as well as on the level of phenomenology of subjective experience. Such approach appears to be valuable and useful for both research and practice.